The Wisconsin Selects U-19 Tier II team improved their season record to 9-3 with four wins at the Wisconsin College Showcase held at Cornerstone Community Center in De Pere this past weekend. The sixteen-team event featured U-16 and U-19 teams from Wisconsin, Tennessee, South Dakota, Michigan, Idaho and Illinois. The event was coordinated by Selects General Manager Mike Cowan and attended by several college coaches in the region.
The Selects opened play on Friday evening against the Idaho Junior Steelheads. Idaho struck first taking a 1-0 first period lead. Wisconsin’s Reese Sheehan walked out from the right corner and tied the game midway through the second period.
Wisconsin charged out of the gates in period three scoring times in the first six minutes. Sheehan’s corner work led to deflection goal by Addy Milota on a point shot from Rhylee Buesgen. Fifty-eight seconds later Zowie Hunter scored from the slot on a great feed from Mallory Schmidt to make it 3-1.
Hunter scored again at 11:26 after a great play at the blueline by defenseman Brooke Brennan, to stretch the lead to four. Reese Duncan closed out the scoring on a beautiful pass from Milota on a 2-1 break. Sydney Magnuson finished with 11 saves as Wisconsin outshot Idaho 32-12
Saturday morning the Selects faced the 9th ranked Grand Rapids Griffins. As an evenly played first period wound down Selects center Savannah Harris won a clean draw to defenseman Tiana Stindt who snapped home a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. Then with the clock about to expire Addisyn Buesgen fed her sister Rhylee who rifled a shot through a Zowie Hunter screen into the net with just two seconds remaining. Wisconsin took a sudden 2-0 lead to the lockeroom.
The Selects wasted no time in the second period scoring just 12 seconds in on a goal by Kiera Ballweg.
The senior defenseman took the opening face-off down the left side, cut to the middle and scored. Grand Rapids answered just ten seconds later to cut the Selects lead to 3-1. Wisconsin would add a pair of goals by Mallory Schmidt to take a commanding 5-1 lead into the final period. Both goals came on unselfish backdoor passes from center Zowie Hunter.
The Griffins rallied in the third period outshooting Selects 9-3, but goaltender MaKenna Hutchinson stood strong finishing the game with 14 saves.
Game two on Saturday featured a convincing Selects win, 8-0 over the Nashville Junior Predators. Addy Milota’s end-to-end shorthanded goal was the only scoring in period one. Wisconsin would score three times, on goals by Sheehan, Rhylee Buesgen and Ballweg in just over two minutes near the end of period two to take a 4-0 lead. Third period goals by Buesgen, her second of the game, Ashley Slupe and Abby Dhein, on the powerplay closed out the scoring. Wisconsin held a 42-14 shots on goal advantage. Sydney Magnuson earned the shutout in net for Wisconsin.
Sunday brought the third game of the season against the North Shore Warhawks. The two teams split a pair of games earlier in September. The Selects would take a 1-0 lead in the first period when defenseman Tiana Stindt picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and danced past the Warhawks defenseman scoring off her own rebound. That 1-0 score would lead hold until midway through the third period. On the powerplay, Wisconsin would increase their lead to 2-0 when Addisyn Buesgen would one-time a perfect feed from Hunter into the back of the net. With a sixth attacker on, North Shore would get a goal with 24 seconds remaining to spoil MaKenna Hutchinson’s bid for a shutout. Shot on goals were even at 29 for the game. For the weekend the tandem of Magnuson and Hutchinson stopped 67 of the 70 shots they faced.
Selects head coach Emily Bauer was pleased with her team’s progress to date. “It was a fun weekend of hockey,” she said, “The girls are starting to come together really well and play as a team. We are moving the puck well and playing at a higher pace each weekend. We need to build on that as we go up against a fast Minnesota team this coming weekend.”
The Selects will travel to the Twin Cities this weekend to play the Minnesota Ice Cougars and Winnipeg Interlake. Wisconsin will be looking to avenge a pair of earlier losses to the Cougars.